Arcane Tank AND THIS ONE WORKS! (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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I have seen few arcane tanks, and they all... well, suck. The best I've seen still (wizard with tower shield) missed an important rule, Quick draw and Quick sheath are for weapons only! The only way to build an arcane tank is the one described in the next few lines.


Simple, PHB1 and Complete Warrior (DMG1 for items)

Game Rule Components[edit]

This Build fails to meet the requirements for a Spellsword. (BAB +4, before taking first level).

Spells, Powers, Soulmelds, Stances, etc...[edit]


You will need mithril plate, +1 or more would also be nice. You will also need a tower shield, the higher the bonus the better.


Roll or 32 point buy, if you use point buy you will need something like: STR 14, DEX 8 (yes, it's a wizard and you have low dex, funny isn't it?), con 16, Wis 12, Int 16, Cha 8. Human.

Race (Templates):

Starting Racial Traits:

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st Mage 1 + + + + Describe in "munchkin" <- class features gained -> <- other stuff ->
2nd Mage 2 + + + + Describe in "munchkin" <- class features gained -> <- other stuff ->
3rd Mage 3 + + + + Describe in "munchkin" <- class features gained -> <- other stuff ->
4th Mage 4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Describe in "munchkin" <- class features gained -> <- other stuff ->
5th Mage 4/Fighter 1 +3 + + + Describe in "munchkin" <- class features gained -> <- other stuff ->
6th Mage 4/Fighter 1/Spellsword 1 +4 + + + Describe in "munchkin" <- class features gained -> <- other stuff ->

Other Components[edit]

Belt of giant strength, boots of elvenkin, cloack of resistance, etc.


It's simple, you wanted an arcane tank. Spellsword gives -10% arcane spell failure, and -5% to each aditional level (and a few more imba things) plus its BAB grows by 1 each level, and the saves are decent. Mithril plate reduces arcane spell failure by an aditional -5%, so in a few levels of spellsword you will ignore the spell failure chance from plate armor. A good tactic is to carry your shield on your back, have one greatsword and one long sword (or one bastard sword). At the start of combat, you do not drag your shield, instead you cast disc infront of yourself, providing you with magic missile reflection and bonus AC which is stackable with your magical items (mage armor is not stackable). Now it's buffing time, use bull strength and all the buffs you deem necesery in this combant IF you have time for this, if you don't, drag your tower shield. Now you go into melee with aproximately 30 AC and decent TH bonuses (+1 magical weapon, +4base, +2 str, +2bull str (grows fast when you level spellsword)). Later on, you can use a greatsword to deal massive damage if you find out that monsters can't hit you.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

Take the dwarf template. Extra constitution, you are not the preatiest creature in the world, but who cares? Or, if you can take other classes, take down your Wis by 2 points, and Str by one point, then put them in Cha. Now you can get a paladin multiclas of 1 lv to get improved saves based on your charisma bonus! Keep in mind that paladins cannot multiclass though, except if their race has the paladin as a preferred class.

Want more? Focus yourself on spiked chain: Spiked chain (feat), Trip (free fighter bonus feat!!!!) and now, since this is an eight level build, you can purchase a +1 bonus for all of your armor. Even after this you will still have a lot gold left to get Boots of elvenkin +4 or +6. If you can, take combat reflexes, your ac drops at 28 but you will have two attacks of oportunity, and I hope that you guys know how spiked chain works...

Side Notes[edit]

<- overview of additional info about this build ->


You will gain spells slower, so high Int is necessary!

DM Counters[edit]

Poor reflex save, if he doesn't have a cloack of resistance he can fail a DC 5 reflex save realy easily, so nuke him! Or, suprise him, he needs his buffs to work.


Use phb2 and make him look like dwarven defender, add a bonus to AC when carry shield from the feats found in that book.

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